All You Need To Know About Being An Auditor

You think about an audit career but are not entirely sure whether this is the right way to go for you or not?

Great! This article is exactly for you since I will show you all you need about the job of an auditor in the following chapters.

Not only will we talk about salaries, but I will also provide you lots of useful information on work-life balance, working hours, educational requirements, job satisfaction, job security and so on.

After reading this article, you will be much better informed and can make a profound decision regarding whether you still want to work in this field or if you rather want to go for different career options instead.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

Table of Contents

What does an Auditor do?

An auditor is appointed by a firm or an official authority to do an audit of the respective company.

Audits are meant to assure that a firm discloses correct financial numbers so that creditors as well as the general public can make an informed decision regarding whether they want to invest or make business with these companies or not.

Duties of an Auditor

  • Audit of companies in various different field
  • Analyzing financial statements
  • Digging deep into the numbers of companies
  • Assuring that documentation processes are valid
  • Assessment of whether a company complies with local and international accounting standards
  • Assessment of whether companies comply with laws
  • Communication with clients
  • Estimation of timelines
  • Suggestion of improvements to comply with laws and regulations
  • Communication of findings to official authorities
  • Preparation of an audit report
  • Acquisition of new mandates

What a Typical Day of an Auditor looks like?

Most auditors start their workday between 8 and 9 a.m. Since you often need information from clients for making a proper assessment of the financial situation of a company, it doesn’t really make sense to start working before your clients are working as well most of the time.

The first thing you will do at work is checking your mails and seeing whether there is something urgent to do or not.

You may also have meetings rather early in the morning and have to make sure that you are on time and that you are mentally prepared for that.

After taking a short lunch break, you will often work at least until 6 p.m. During busy season in spring, you will often also have to work until 8 p.m. or even longer.

During those busy times, your life as an auditor can be quite stressful and at the time you finally get back home, you will often be tired and ready for bed.

Auditor Salary 2021

Auditor salary brackets 2021

Salary BracketsSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Top 10 %> $125,000> $62.18
Top 25 %$85,000 – $106,000$42.21 – $52.72
Bottom 25 %$45,000 – $53,000$22.24 – $26.25
Bottom 10 %$39,000 – $42,000$19.31 – $20.83
Range$39,000 – $185,000$19.31 – $92.32
Average$71,000$35.27

Auditor salary 2021 by expert level

Level of ExperienceSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Entry level$39,000 – $55,000$19.31 – $27.27
Junior$46,000 – $63,000$22.79 – $31.59
Professional$52,000 – $73,000$25.68 – $36.29
Senior Professional$56,000 – $79,000$27.51 – $39.28
Expert$76,000 – $95,000$37.61 – $47.19
Top Expert$88,000 – $185,000$43.71 – $92.32

Auditor salary by state 2021 (average)

StateSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Alabama$62,300$31.02
Alaska$76,300$37.87
Arizona$64,500$32.19
Arkansas$62,400$31.09
California$84,200$41.76
Colorado$74,300$36.69
Connecticut$78,400$38.81
Delaware$74,700$36.89
District of Columbia$76,200$37.94
Florida$72,800$36.19
Georgia$70,200$34.83
Guam$62,300$31.05
Hawaii$67,400$33.49
Idaho$69,200$34.41
Illinois$67,300$33.38
Indiana$65,800$32.62
Iowa$68,400$34.13
Kansas$69,200$34.38
Kentucky$68,400$33.89
Louisiana$63,300$31.63
Maine$66,100$32.81
Maryland$76,200$37.82
Massachusetts$77,100$38.31
Michigan$68,400$34.19
Minnesota$68,700$34.27
Mississippi$61,200$30.41
Missouri$62,400$31.17
Montana$64,700$32.21
Nebraska$61,100$30.39
Nevada$64,900$31.94
New Hampshire$69,300$34.49
New Jersey$78,400$38.68
New Mexico$64,200$31.79
New York$85,900$42.51
North Carolina$72,100$35.77
North Dakota$62,400$31.16
Ohio$66,700$32.83
Oklahoma$67,200$33.32
Oregon$68,100$33.73
Pennsylvania$65,400$32.49
Rhode Island$62,300$30.92
South Carolina$61,400$30.41
South Dakota$64,200$31.91
Tennessee$64,700$32.22
Texas$74,200$36.88
Utah$65,400$32.63
Vermont$69,100$34.39
Virginia$78,200$38.77
Washington$72,100$35.78
West Virginia$65,200$32.39
Wisconsin$66,300$32.81
Wyoming$63,600$31.48

Job Security for Auditors

Auditors enjoy pretty high job security. Even though they might get fired in case they do a poor job, auditors easily find new jobs in most regions since there is a shortage of qualified auditors in many regions of our planet and good auditors are urgently needed to testify the annual financial statements of numerous companies.

Future Job Prospects for Auditors

Auditors will also have pretty decent job prospects in the future. Even though some tasks in the auditing industry may be carried out by machines in a few years or decades, there are still many tasks for which you need human judgement and those tasks are pretty hard to replace by machines.

Working Hours of Auditors

While auditors will not have to work more than 40 hours per week for most of the year, there is the so-called busy season where you often have to work 60 hours or even more to get all of your things done in a reasonable timeframe.

Job Satisfaction of Auditors

Many auditors really like what they are doing for a living. However, you should definitely like working with numbers and also like to work in an office.

Otherwise, you will not become happy with an auditing career in the long run.

Promotion Opportunities of Auditors

Auditors have pretty decent promotion opportunities. If you are good at what you are doing and are also willing to work hard, you can climb the career ladder pretty soon and by the time you are 40, you may even already have become a partner in your auditing firm.

Career Levels of Auditors

  • Associate
  • Senior associate
  • Assistant manager
  • Manager
  • Senior manager
  • Director
  • Junior partner
  • Senior partner
  • Senior partner with responsibility for entire clusters
  • Senior partner responsible for entire regions
  • Partner in the board of directors

Fields and Types of Auditors

  • External auditors
  • Internal auditors
  • Financial auditors
  • Procedural auditors
  • Independent auditors
  • Government auditors
  • Auditors of official regulatory authorities
  • Tax auditors
  • Forensic auditors

Educational Requirements for Auditors

If you want to become an auditor, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, economics or related fields.

You may also need additional certifications if you want to work in a leading role in the audit industry.

How to become an Auditor

  1. Inform yourself about what an auditor career really looks like
  2. Choose a college degree
  3. Choose a college with a good reputation
  4. Work as an intern at a renowned audit company
  5. Stay in touch with important people in the audit industry
  6. Write your bachelor’s or master’s thesis in collaboration with an audit firm
  7. Start your career at one of those renowned companies after finishing college
  8. Learn how to network within your company
  9. Climb the corporate ladder
  10. Become an important person inside your company

Character Traits you need for Working as an Auditor

  • Stress resistance
  • Persistence
  • Ability to push through difficult times
  • You should be able to deal with lots of information in a rather short period of time
  • You need to trust yourself
  • Getting out of your comfort zone is crucial
  • You should be an outgoing person
  • You need to deal with feedback of colleagues and clients on a regular basis
  • You need a critical view on what’s going on
  • Passion for working with numbers
  • Interest in regulatory topics
  • You sometimes have to be brave enough to communicate issues

Hard Skills for Being an Auditor

  • Auditors need a talent for working with numbers
  • You have to leverage digital technologies
  • Ability to work out stuff in a relatively short period of time
  • Recognizing market trends is crucial to stay in the game in the long run
  • You need strong analytical skills
  • Decent knowledge of accounting regulations
  • Good PowerPoint and Excel skills are helpful
  • Programming skills can make your life easier as well
  • Auditors should have critical thinking skills

Soft Skills for Being an Auditor

  • Staying calm under pressure
  • Excellent communication skills are crucial to calm down clients
  • You need a sense of what’s important and what’s not
  • You should have good people skills
  • Ability to read the body language of people is a plus
  • Ability to present yourself well
  • You need to build a strong network to climb the career ladder quickly
  • Mentors are crucial to succeed in this industry
  • You need to have a positive mindset
  • Willingness to work many extra hours during busy season

Exit Options for Auditors

Auditors have many interesting exit options. Since they have excellent knowledge regarding rules and regulations in the financial industry, they can often easily switch from auditing companies to the corporate world.

Some auditors also no longer work in the auditing field but rather go into controlling, accounting or other related fields of work.

Auditor – Similar Careers

  • Controller
  • Accountant
  • Financial analyst
  • Financial consultant
  • Working at an official financial authority
  • Working in the financial department of governments
  • Tax examiner
  • Credit analyst
  • Bookkeeper
  • Accounting clerk
  • Underwriter

Auditor Career FAQs

Is working as an auditor physically demanding?

Working as an auditor is not physically demanding. Even though you might have to travel quite a lot, you will still not have to deal with the same physical stress compared to someone who works as a welder, construction worker and so on.

Is working as an auditor mentally demanding?

Working as an auditor can be pretty demanding from a mental standpoint. In fact, auditors often have to work with numbers all day long and if you are not prepared for that, chances are that you should go for a different career instead.

Is it dangerous to work as an auditor?

Working as an auditor is not dangerous at all. Most of the time, you will just sit in a comfortable office while police officers, firefighters and people who work in many other jobs risk their lives to make our world a better place.

How long do auditors stay in their jobs?

While external auditors stay in their jobs for only a few years on average, internal auditors stay in their jobs for quite a long time.

In fact, external auditors who work at big audit companies often switch to a corporate career in internal audit since they no longer want to travel anymore.

Is it easy for auditors to find a new job?

It is pretty easy for auditors to find a new job. In fact, once you lose your job in one of the big audit companies, there will be several other audit companies who urgently search for people with good knowledge in this field and if you have the right credentials, you don’t really have to worry about getting unemployed in the long run.

Is it hard to switch from being an auditor to another field of work?

It is also pretty easy to switch from an audit company to the corporate sector. In fact, many auditors start their careers in external audit companies and switch to the corporate sector after a few years since they just find better work-life balance in those companies.

Do auditors have a high social status?

While auditors don’t have the same high social status as doctors who save lives every day, you will still have a decent social standing as an auditor.

In fact, many people will know that you do an important job for society and that your work is crucial to avoid unlawful behavior in the financial industry.

Can you help out your family and friends as an auditor?

Auditors can help their family and friends with clever financial advice. You will just build solid financial expertise over the course of your career and this knowledge can greatly benefit your loved ones who want to make important financial decisions in the near future.

Can auditors work remotely?

While auditors can work remotely some of the time, clients often still demand that auditors will also be present in person for at least a few days per week.

Hence, as an auditor, you will at least benefit from the option of working remotely to a certain extent and this can make your life much easier since you will be more flexible compared to someone who has to be present at work in person every day.

Is it easy to find a partner as an auditor?

Since you can make good money and also have a decent social reputation as an auditor, you will have a rather easy time in the dating market, at least when it comes to long-term relationships since many people out there look for a partner who can provide for them and you will be the perfect candidate for that.

Do auditors have to work on weekends?

While auditors don’t have to officially work on weekends, they are sometimes still forced to work on weekends during busy season since they would just not get all the work done in time otherwise.

Consequently, you should be willing to work on weekends at least a few times per year before you decide for an audit career.

Do auditors have to work on holidays?

Similar to working on weekends, auditors also don’t have to work on holidays in an official manner.

However, if you want to climb the career ladder as soon as possible, you might still want to work during those times to get an edge over your colleagues when it comes to promotions.

Do I have to work at nighttime as an auditor?

While auditors often come home from work relatively early, there will be times during busy season when you have to work in the evening or even at nighttime.

Hence, don’t become an auditor if you search for a regular 9 to 5 job for the entire year.

Do you have to travel as an auditor?

While external auditors have to travel quite a lot, this is not true for internal auditors at all.

Thus, if you don’t like to travel and rather want to stay at home with your family, chances are that you should work as an auditor in the corporate world instead of at an external big audit company.

Are auditor pensions good?

Since auditors can make decent money from what they are doing, they will also get a pretty good pension.

Moreover, auditors will also be able to save and invest lots of money during their active careers which they can use later once they quit their careers and retire.

Are auditor salaries going up?

Auditor salaries have gone up significantly over the past years and will likely continue to go up in the future.

There is just a huge shortage of qualified people who are able to work in this field and a shortage of workers always means that wages will increase with constant demand.

Can you have a positive effect on society as an auditor?

Since you will assure the safety of our financial system, you can have a big positive effect on society.

In fact, without auditors, our financial system would be much more vulnerable to bad decisions and would likely collapse pretty soon.

In turn, also our social system would be at risk and auditors therefore assure a peaceful society in general.

How long does it take to become an auditor?

Since you will need to get a college degree, it can take you many years to become an auditor.

Hence, make sure that you are willing to make this time commitment so that you don’t quit your studies sooner or later and lose all hope to work in this industry.

Is it difficult to become an auditor?

Since you will need a college degree in accounting, economics, business or a related field, you should have the motivation to study hard.

Otherwise, you will not get good grades and your chances of becoming an auditor will be rather low.

Do you need to be smart to work as an auditor?

While you don’t need to be a genius for becoming an auditor, you should still have strong analytical skills and a talent for working with numbers.

Otherwise, you will just not become happy with what you are doing in the long run.

Do auditors have a good work-life balance?

Auditors have a decent work-life balance for most of the year. However, during busy season, there will be some weeks or even months when you will have to work quite a lot and you might not have any leisure at all.

Do auditors have to work many extra hours?

Auditors don’t have to work many extra hours most of the year. However, during busy times, you should still be willing to work longer than 9 to 5.

Moreover, if you work at an external audit company, chances are much higher that you have to work many extra hours compared to internal audit jobs.

How to maximize your chances of becoming an auditor?

If you want to maximize your chances of becoming an auditor, you should make sure to study hard so that you get good grades.

Moreover, you should also work as an intern and stay in touch with your colleagues so that you already have one foot in the door once you get your degree and apply for jobs.

Do auditors work indoors or outdoors?

Auditors do most of their work indoors in an office environment. Hence, while many other people have to work outdoors in the cold during times of bad weather, you will be able to work in a rather cozy atmosphere and can also enjoy a nice drink.

What does the workplace of an auditor look like?

You will mostly work in office environments as an auditor. Sometimes, you will also be able to work from home and what your workplace will look like greatly depends on your individual preferences since you can furnish your workplace as you want it to be as long as it looks conservative enough.

Do you have to look good for working as an auditor?

Although you don’t necessarily have to look good as an auditor, it still helps to convince clients and colleagues of your ideas.

In fact, many studies have shown that good-looking people have a higher chance to succeed in the corporate world and the audit industry is no different.

Is an auditor career beneficial for your private life?

Since you will have to travel quite a lot as an auditor, you will also be away from home quite often.

In turn, your private life may suffer quite a lot and envy and mistrust also often lead to many breakups in the long run.

Do you need a college degree for becoming an auditor?

Yes, you need a degree for working as an auditor most of the time. In fact, there are barely any companies out there that would be willing to employ you as an auditor if you haven’t got an accounting degree or something similar to that.

Do you need to be certified to work as an auditor?

Apart from your college degree, you might also need additional degrees for a successful career as an auditor.

In fact, many people in this field get further qualifications like the CPA or CFA to look good on paper and to climb the career ladder at a rather early age.

How much does it cost to become an auditor?

Since you need a college degree and sometimes even further qualifications for becoming an auditor, you will also have to spend lots of money on education.

In fact, overall costs can sum up to six figures and you should therefore really make sure that you are willing to pay this price for your education before you decide for an audit career.

Is being an auditor a good career?

Becoming an auditor can be a great career path for you in case you love to work with numbers and are also interested in regulatory standards.

You should also be willing to travel and to get out of your comfort zone to stay happy with your career in the long run.

Is it easy to start your own business as an auditor?

Since the audit industry is pretty competitive and few big players control a majority of the market, you will have a pretty hard time starting your own business in this field and chances that you fail will be pretty high.

Can auditors teach themselves?

While you can teach yourself as an auditor to a certain extent, you will still need a college degree for working in this field.

Hence, self-taught knowledge will only get you to a certain point that is almost worthless if you don’t look good on paper as well.

Do auditors make good money?

If you are willing to work hard, you will be able to make pretty good money as an auditor. In fact, if you are lucky and get to partner level one day, chances are that you will make a pretty good income and that you will also be able to afford some luxury.

Is it ever too late to become an auditor?

While it is never too late to become an auditor, you should make sure to start at a relatively young age so that the high initial investment for college education will be worth it.

Moreover, many people who work in this field are rather young and you may just feel like an outsider if you wait with working in this field until you are old.

What is the most challenging thing about working as an auditor?

In my opinion, the most challenging part of working as an auditor is to stay objective and critical with your assessment while still maintaining a cool communication style with your clients who may greatly worry about your assessment and what it means to the company.

Can you provide for your family by working as an auditor?

Since you will make decent money from your job as an auditor, you will also have a pretty easy time providing for your family.

If your spouse works as well, chances are that you will be able to afford a pretty fancy lifestyle, at least if you stay in your job for longer and climb the career ladder soon.

Will auditors suffer from old-age poverty?

Since auditors earn good money and can also save and invest enough money for retirement, you will not have to worry about old-age poverty as long as you invest your money wisely and don’t spend everything on unnecessary consumption.

Can you get rich as an auditor?

While auditors can make decent money, they will often not get rich. Hence, if money and luxury are really important to you, you may rather want to go for a career as a doctor, investment banker or lawyer instead.

Do you get continuous training as an auditor?

While you will get lots of training in big renowned audit companies, you will still have to stay up-to-date with latest developments regarding regulatory requirements and how changing laws and regulations affect your daily work.

Are auditors organized in unions?

Auditors are organized in the Union of Accountants and Auditors. However, while those unions might help, you will still have to negotiate your salary with your boss on an individual level and can’t rely on unions to improve your working conditions.

Do you get paid when you are sick as an auditor?

Most big audit companies offer sick pay to auditors. However, if you are not sure about it, just inform yourself and also have a look at your working contract before you sign it so that you are not disappointed later on.

Do auditors have a high level of responsibility?

While auditors are not able to save many lives on a daily basis as doctors are able to do, you will still have a high level of responsibility since your mistakes may lead to enormous adverse outcomes for business partners of the companies you audit.

Can auditors work abroad?

Since accounting and audit standards are pretty different across regions and countries, chances are that you will not be able to work as an auditor in a different country unless you get additional qualifications.

Thus, if you plan to move abroad, you should inform yourself about local rules and regulations in this regard.

Is it stressful to work as an auditor?

While working as an auditor is not that stressful most of the time, you will still have periods where you have lots of work to do in a rather short period of time and stress resistance therefore still helps to reach your goals in the audit industry.

Is it boring to work as an auditor?

Whether you get bored with an audit career greatly depends on your character.

If you are an analytical person who loves to also work with regulatory requirements, you will be perfectly suited for an audit job.

However, if you are a rather creative person, chances are that you will get bored with an audit career rather quickly.

Is being an auditor hard?

While working as an auditor can be mentally and emotionally demanding sometimes, you will not have to deal with the same emotional burden as doctors or other people whose decisions will really make a direct difference in the lives of many people on a daily basis.

Is there a dress code for auditors?

While there is no strict dress code for auditors, you should still dress in a rather conservative manner if you want to succeed in renowned audit companies.

Quite often, men wear suits and women wear conservative dresses in this industry.

What kind of auditors are paid the most?

How much you get paid as an auditor greatly depends on your career level. While entry-level auditors don’t make great money, your income will increase significantly once you get a few years of experience and become really valuable for the company you work for.

What percentage of auditors are women?

Around 60% of auditors are female. However, when it comes to leading audit positions, a higher fraction of men is present.

Hence, it seems to be easier for men to get to the top of the salary pyramid in the accounting industry for now, even though this might change in the near future.

Do I need a mentor to succeed in the audit industry?

Having a mentor with experience is a great asset in the audit industry. Quite often, you will run into issues you will not know how to deal with as a beginner.

In such a case, it can be worth gold to have a mentor whom you can ask what to do.

Are auditors being tested for drugs?

Auditors are not being tested for drugs. However, you should still stay away from those substances if you want to succeed in this industry and in life in general in the long run since addictions are never fun and will get you into lots of trouble later down the road.

Will you be personally liable for mistakes as an auditor?

Auditors can be personally liable for mistakes. Hence, once you get into a leading role in your audit company, it is recommended that you get proper insurance so that you are covered in case of emergency.

Do auditors have a high life expectancy?

Since auditors don’t have to work under dangerous conditions, they have a pretty decent work-life balance. In fact, according to studies, life expectancy of auditors is above the national average.

Do auditors suffer from sleeping problems?

Since auditors often have to travel and also have to work in the evening or at nighttime during busy periods of the year, many auditors also suffer from sleeping problems, which can translate into mental and physical health issues later down the road.

What states are best for working as an auditor?

California and New York are great states for auditors to work since you can make a pretty good salary while still enjoying nice landscapes and a rather relaxed lifestyle in those areas.

Who do auditors work with?

Auditors work with clients of many different sizes that operate in many different industries.

In fact, once companies reach a certain size, they need to get an audit.

Otherwise, they just get fined in a serious manner.

Is working as an auditor cool?

Most people would not consider an audit career as cool. In fact, you will rather be seen as a nerd who works with numbers and regulatory stuff all day long.

Do you have to be creative as an auditor?

Since auditors have to work with numbers all day long, you don’t need to be creative to succeed in this field.

What is much more important than being creative is having strong analytical skills and attention to detail.

How employable are auditors?

Auditors are in high demand right now while there is a lack of qualified auditors out there.

Consequently, job prospects are great for auditors right now and will likely also continue to be great in the future.

Are auditors happy with their jobs?

Most auditors have a strong analytical mindset and want to work in a pretty standardized manner.

Hence, while many auditors are happy with what they are doing, you should ask yourself whether you will be happy with such a career as well or if you aspire to something more exciting.

Is working as an auditor exciting?

Since you will work with numbers all day long in a pretty standardized manner, working as an auditor is not that exciting and if you need more action, you should rather become a scientist or for other more interesting careers instead.

Job alternatives to becoming an auditor

Instead of becoming an auditor, you may also think about becoming a consultant, financial analyst or controller instead.

What are the pros and cons of working as an auditor?

If you are still not sure whether you should pursue an auditor career, you may also want to check out the pros and cons of working as an auditor.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auditor

https://www.statista.com/statistics/784409/global-accounting-firms-audit-accounting-revenue/

https://www.statista.com/topics/1260/audit-accounting-firms-big-four/

Interviews and own research.

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

Wanna support my blog? Share it!

Pin It on Pinterest